A Secret Life
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Lachman sets the record straight

Famed as a pugnaciously honest leader, Grover Cleveland set the tone for what a politician should do when caught in scandal: “Whatever you say, tell the truth.” But to save himself from career-ending allegations involving a rape and violence, he lied — and won election to two terms as president of the United States.

Now, in his gripping work of nonfiction, A SECRET LIFE: The Lies and Scandals of President Grover Cleveland (Skyhorse Publishing; July 25, 2011; $24.95), acclaimed author Charles Lachman reveals that Cleveland led a secret life that previous histories and biographies have overlooked. Lachman’s heavily researched, engrossing work of investigative history will rewrite the way history looks at one of our most esteemed presidents.

When he ran for the presidency in 1884 – an election considered by many to be the dirtiest national campaign in U.S. history – Grover Cleveland faced down accusations that as a young lawyer in Buffalo, New York, he fathered an illegitimate son. But the candidate and his allies successfully deflected the scandal by claiming that the woman in question, Maria Halpin, was a harlot. The Cleveland campaign argued that Grover Cleveland — as the only bachelor among Halpin’s many paramours — had valiantly assumed responsibility for the child, trying to protect his married friends.

This version of the Cleveland-Halpin story has come to be accepted as historical fact. But as A SECRET LIFE shows, almost none of it is true.

A SECRET LIFE is the story of a president haunted by his past. Lachman builds a page-turning narrative that finally sets the record straight on an American president, his illegitimate son and the woman who has been so wrongly vilified in history, Maria Halpin.